Hike in emission test fee for vehicles 'minuscule', say certification centres

Hike in emission test fee for vehicles 'minuscule', say certification centres

Emission testing centres are unhappy with what they describe as a “minuscule” increase in the fees for emission certification for various categories of vehicles and say it’s a case of too little, too late.

The Transport Department recently increased the fees for emission certification by Rs 15-20 after the High Court of Karnataka pulled it up for rising vehicle pollution in Bengaluru. The increase came after a gap of five years. A government order in this regard was issued recently.

A few months ago, the department had increased the penalty for polluting vehicles. An official in the department said it was better for vehicle owners to pay a small fee and get the emission certification than end up paying hefty fine for non-compliance.
Emission testing centres, however, say the hike is “minuscule”.

The owner of an emission testing centre in Bengaluru said, “First, the department didn’t revise the rates for a long time, even though the cost of setting up the centre and equipment has gone up substantially in the past few years. Second, the hike is insignificant which will hardly serve any purpose.”

Balaji, a licensed Pollution Under Control (PUC) agent on Nrupathunga Road here, echoed similar views. “It’s not easy to maintain these machines and calibrate them regularly. We were expecting a bigger increase as the next hike will be only after five  years.”

Last year, owners of emission testing centres had made a representation to the department about the increased cost involved in emission certification.

As per rules, a PUC certificate issued by an emission testing centre is valid for six months. Out of more than 1,500 emission testing centres in Karnataka, about 300 are in Bengaluru alone.

 Last year, the department had conducted a drive, cancelling the licences of several centres that were found to be issuing PUC certificates by taking money without actually performing the tests.

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